ATLANTA (AP) _ Steady rain, lightning and the threat of severe weather delayed for about two hours the start of Game 1 of the NL championship series Wednesday night between the San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves.

The tarp was on the field at the scheduled start time of 8:15 p.m. EDT and thunder rumbled about 20 minutes later. Rain, which began about an hour before the scheduled start, let up at 9:30 p.m. and the tarp was removed. The game began at 10:16 p.m.

There has never been a rainout in the two-year history of Turner Field. A few thousand fans sat under umbrellas in their seats during the delay, watching the AL playoff game between the Yankees and Cleveland on the center-field scoreboard.

The last postponement in the postseason came at Game 1 of the 1996 World Series between the Braves and Yankees in New York. There was, however, a three-hour rain delay last week in the middle of a playoff game between the Yankees and Rangers in Texas.

During the delay in Atlanta, there was nothing for the players to do but wait while the rain fell. The National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm warning for areas around Atlanta.

``There will be a lot of card games, I'm sure,'' Glavine said. ``And for other guys, just watching TV.

``No matter what you're doing, you have an eye on the game resuming, and in your mind you're mentally prepared for that,'' he said. ``But in order to pass the time, I think, again, cards, crossword puzzles, whatever is in there.''